A Forever Mom’s Heart about Adoption

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In honor of my forever son Samuel I chose the red cardinal photo today because Samuel likes birds and his birthplace was Jeffersonville, IN and his birth family is from Kentucky and Indiana where the red cardinal is both states’ state bird.

Prior to adoption and most assuredly now that we have adopted I have an extremely positive view of adoption and believe it is an excellent way to build a family. I have personally seen many families across the nation build their families successfully through foster care, domestic and internationally adoption. However, I have to admit open adoption was something I feared initially. My main fear was that what if the child that I had raised and poured my life into might one day leave me and our family to return to his or her birth family. This whole thought was heart wrenching to me.

God spoke to me in the beginning of the month of September of 2008 about open adoption, but I kept saying no because of my fear of loss. I thought open adoption would be extremely hard. I had so many questions about open adoption that my heart initially just shut it down when God kept laying it on my mind.

My questions were:
What does open adoption look like for the family? Would this mean sharing the child you adopt? Would the child one day desire to be with the birth parents again with this open communication? The whole endeavor was frightening to me. I felt like sharing the child or losing the child eventually back to the birth parents was something I could not take and my heart would break into many shattered pieces. I believe these feelings and questions are normal for people seeking to build their family through open adoption.

In late September of 2008 God opened the door to open adoption for Steve and me. This is why he kept laying it on my heart in the early part of the month. God moved quickly to soften my heart toward the prospect of adoption adoption. It is truly amazing to me how on time God is and if we choose not to submit and open our hearts to something as wonderful as adoption or open adoption we could surely miss a blessing. You see on the morning of September 24th, my mother’s birthday, I went to breakfast with a Rotary colleague who knew that I had miscarried a couple of months earlier. She asked me point blank if I had considered adoption. Another way God was tugging at my heart to adopt through this conversation. I told her my fears, and she told me that she had experienced a traumatic situation in her teens where her mother left her father and told her that the man who had raised was was not her father that someone else was. Immediately she said she wanted to meet her birth father and, I shot back, “and that is why I don’t want to adopt.” I confided in her my fear that my child might one day leave me forsaking our relationship to go and be with his or her birth family and my heart would be broken. She told me that the father, her dad, who raised her, was her true father but that she just wanted the opportunity to meet and get to know her birth father. She said she would not do anything to hurt her dad, the man who raised her because of the love he had always shown her as his daughter. This made me feel better, eased my fears and opened my heart to take a leap of faith when we were approached with the opportunity to adopt Samuel later that very afternoon. For you see if I had not opened my heart that morning I could have missed one of the best blessing’s of my whole life- my Samuel blessing. God’s timing is always perfect and on time.

Looking back God had been calling us and preparing our hearts to adopt Samuel throughout that whole year. We knew Samuel’s birth mom was pregnant and was putting him up for adoption several months before they approached us to adopt Samuel. At the point we learned about her pregnancy God spoke to Steve and he knew that Samuel would be ours through adoption. God spoke to me and told me we would have a son throughout that year. All through the year, God was speaking to us about the son we would be given through the miracle of adoption. I know without a shadow of doubt, I conceived Samuel in my heart from the moment he was conceived in his birth mother’s womb before I had the inkling that he would be mine through the gift and blessing of open adoption because God gave me his name that same month. I began praying for my son Samuel by name at that point. So as things began to come together and our eyes were being opened to what God was doing through the miracle of adoption, my heart found peace in going through with open adoption.

Since we have adopted Samuel, my view of open adoption has been one that has been positive. However, I will tell you that when people learn that I had Sarah Grace following Samuel’s adoption, I often hear comments like “I often here similar stories where someone adopts and then they have one of their own.” My heart sinks and frustration inside me begins to rise. I think “Really.” Is he not my own? Whose is he? How ridiculous I think to myself. Adoption is a means in which God chooses to build families. Samuel was adopted but that is past tense. He is our son present tense, our baby boy, and our first born son given to us through the miracle of adoption. This makes him ours. You know we are adopted into the kingdom of God, throughout scripture it says we are his children. Christ is his first born son, but it does not constantly say we are His adopted children, it say we were adopted but now we are God’s chosen ones- we are His children. This needs to be our attitude on adoption, it is a means to which we build our families but once the adoption has taken place the child is a member of that family.

Most recently, I have been reading a book called “Undaunted” by Christian Caine. This book is about her and her husband’s ministry to young girls who have been abused and exploited through sex trafficking. After reading her introduction of the book, the first chapter discusses her adoption story, which was surprising to me. She details how she and her brother learned of their closed adoptions in their adulthood and how she was at first devastated and astounded that she and her brother would be adopted. As I read through the pages of her initial devastation, it shook me to the core that it shook her to the core of her being. I thought do all children who are adopted feel this way?

Her identity crisis was such a negative outlook and she made no mention of the fact that she was chosen and adopted by a loving Christian family who loved her and her older brother and raised them to know Christ and loved them both with their whole hearts. She finally realizes her identity is in Christ, and God points her to scripture that helps her know this was his plan for her life. However, the thing that was mindboggling to me was that as she was searching for answers she became so incredibly daunted by so many negativities. She initially caused herself to be daunted by negative words such as unnamed, unwanted, a number listed on a piece of paper. She pinpointed on the document that her birth mother wanted to get this over with as quickly as possible so she could return to work and the father was unknown. As I read her description of the things she was reading and what she was taking to heart, my heart was breaking for her because she was not focusing on the fact that she had a forever family who dearly loved her. I kept thinking but she was wanted, embraced and loved by her family that adopted her- all the things she was searching for with her birth mother she already had with her parents and siblings.

It is my belief that Christine struggled with the closed adoption because this was hidden throughout her childhood and a part of her early adulthood. I believe there are benefits to having an open adoption because it allows the child to ask questions, be well-esteemed in encouragement and be embraced and loved throughout their life to know how special they are to their forever family and birth family who want to be kept abreast of their child’s life experiences. It is my hope that in our case it will be a healthy, loving experience always for our Samuel.

As Samuel’s Forever Mom here is list of some of my future hopes for my forever son:

My hope is that Samuel will know that he was once adopted but now he is ours- our forever son.

My hope is that Samuel will have a positive outlook of adoption full circle: to know this was God’s plan for him.

My hope is that Samuel will not experience identity issues but that he will be well-esteemed and that he will realize he is the person God created him to be and that his identity is in Christ.

My hope is that he will not feel rejection from his birth family and that he will know the love they have for him one day.

My hope is that Samuel will always feel wanted, loved and embraced by our family- his forever family. His story is special, God’s plan for him is special and that he is a blessing to many.

My hope is that Samuel will know the love of God the Father and His son through the power of the Holy Spirit and the love of two families who many not perfect but will always be there to love and embrace him.

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